PRESS RELEASE: “Gender identity is included in the new Anti-Racist Law”

Athens, September 10, 2014

PRESS RELEASE: “Gender identity is included in the new Anti-Racist Law”

Greek Transgender Support Association (G.T.S.A.) a recognized NGO that supports the rights of the trans community, is stating its satisfaction for the adoption of the so-called “anti-racism” law in the Greek Legal System which includes gender identity in the definition of violence or hatred instigated crimes.

More explicitly it states that:

Whoever intentionally, in public, by word of mouth, or through the press and the internet, or through any other means or manner, incites, causes, induces or instigates acts or actions that may lead to discrimination, hatred or violence against a person or a group of persons that are identified on the basis of race, color, religion, descent, national or ethnic origin or disability, sexual orientation or gender identity, so as to endanger the public order or pose a threat to life, freedom or physical integrity of the above mentioned persons, shall be punished with a three (3) months to three (3) years imprisonment sentence and a fine of 5,000-20,000 Euros.

Also, according to Article 5 of this Law, these acts are ex officio prosecuted and the victim, is excluded from paying the relevant fee to the State at the time of the complaint, plus when he/she is present at the trial as plaintiff, while Article 4 outlines the responsibilities of legal entities or groups of persons at the commission of these offenses. The full text of the Law (in greek):

G.T.S.A. welcomes the inclusion of gender identity in the above article (and in any other relevant articles), which is an issue that we had repeatedly put to discussion not only in our press releases, but also during the participation of Mrs. Marina Galanou, Chairperson and representative of G.T.S.A., at the meeting with the members of the Committee of Internal Affairs, Public Order and Justice of the Greek Parliament on November 28, 2013.

We also welcome the adoption of the amendment by the MPs of the Socialist Party (PASOK) that was accepted by the Minister of Justice, Transparency and Human Rights, Mr. Charalampos Athanasiou, that increases the penalties for hate motivated crimes. More specifically, according to this article:

The last sentence of Paragraph 3 of Article 79 of the Penal Code is deleted and substituted by the Article 81A as follows:

“Racist crime

If a crime is committed due to hatred bias on the grounds of race, color, religion, descent, national or ethnic origin, sexual orientation, gender identity or disability of the victim, the minimum custodial sentence is increased as follows:

  1. A) In case of misdemeanor, where the anticipated sentence is from ten days to one year, the minimum custodial sentence is increased by six months and in other misdemeanor cases by one year.
  2. B) In case of felony, where the anticipated sentence is five to ten years, the minimum custodial sentence is increased by two years and in other felony cases by three years.
  3. C) The anticipated minimum fine for any crime is doubled up.

The above sentences are not suspended.”

We believe that the implementation of these provisions is an important step in addressing racism; however, we must mention the exclusion of an amendment about the cohabitation pact and the recognition of LGBT couples that live under the same roof, despite the judgment of the ECtHR, in this law. Furthermore, it is also necessary to take many more steps forward in order to effectively address issues of racism, such as:

  • The legal implementation of the protection of victims and witnesses of crimes with a racist bias must include sexual orientation and gender identity on the grounds of protection.
  • The revision of the Presidential Decree on the Establishment of Departments and Offices to Combat Racist violence in the Police Force must include sexual orientation and gender identity.
  • The extension of the Anti-Discrimination Law in Employment and Goods Providing Services (Law 3304/2005) in order to include gender identity among the grounds of protection, plus the revision of Law 3896/2010 in order to explicitly state gender identity.

Greek Transgender Support Association (G.T.S.A.) will take all the necessary initiatives in order to achieve the above objectives, and, at the same time, is campaigning for the legal recognition of gender identity in order trans people to have the ability to change their documents without any medical requirements.


Greek Transgender Support Association (G.T.S.A.)

The Board of Directors

~ από Σωματείο Υποστήριξης Διεμφυλικών στο 11 Σεπτεμβρίου, 2014.

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